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Drugs death challenge for innovators

Innovative healthcare companies in the North West Coast can bid for a slice of a £5m fund to help prevent fatal drug overdoses.

The Reducing Drug Deaths Innovation Challenge focuses on innovative interventions to prevent drug-related deaths.

The Addiction Healthcare Mission, led by the UK government Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and the Scottish Health Industry Partnership (SHIP), is funding the challenge.

The challenge consists of two Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competitions. A feasibility competition allows applicants to secure up to £100,000 of funding to develop a product prototype which, if successful, could lead to an opportunity to secure a further £500,000 in funding for product demonstration and patient testing.

A demonstration competition allows applicants who already have product prototypes at a more advanced stage of development to bid immediately for the £500,000 product testing phase.  

There is more detail about the scope, eligibility and application process in the following links:

SBRI: Overdose detection, response and intervention - feasibility 

SBRI: Overdose detection, response and intervention – demonstration 

More information on the competitions is here: 

SBRI Reducing Drug Deaths - Supplementary Information for Applicants

The challenge is open for applications until 21 April 2023.  

Priority areas for projects include the following: 

  • Discrete digital technology solutions with intuitive patient and responder-centric design
  • Simple alert or responder pathways that create effective responses to potentially fatal overdose events 
  • Solutions that enhance the ability to self-monitor by people who use drugs
  • Improved equity of access, detection, and response in this vulnerable population through connected and safe digitalised platforms
  • Enhanced simple live intelligent data-gathering processes, surveillance, and remote monitoring

The fund is open to applications from any type of organisation of any size, registered in the UK, European Union or the European Economic Area that can demonstrate a credible and practical route to market.    

Applicants must work in conjunction with a suitable UK-based testbed research partner to develop their solution. 

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